First TransPennine Class 802 out on test along ECML as ‘Azuma’ construction begins

TESTING of the first of 19 five-car bi-mode Class 802 units that will go into service with TransPennine Express (TPE) has begun.

Branded ‘Nova 1’ by TPE, set No. 802201 has embarked on trial runs from Hitachi’s Doncaster Carr depot, with initial tests north along the East Coast Main Line to Darlington, and more recently south to London King’s Cross.

As the testing is expanded, this and other sets will be seen in Newcastle and Edinburgh, as well as using diesel power to visit other cities off the electrified network in connection with platform clearance and signalling immunisation work.

Yet to receive its TransPennine branding, set No. 802201 passes Biggleswade on test on August 13. ALISDAIR ANDERSON

TPE plans to introduce the trains from next year on routes from Manchester and Liverpool to Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh. The trains can run in five- or 10-car formations, and will be fitted with ERTMS from new, although it will be later when digital signalling changes take place.

Separately, at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory, work is underway to build the production series of Class 800 bi-mode and Class 801 all electric ‘Azuma’ trains for LNER. The first sets are due to enter service later this year.

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